Category Archives: Women

Women In Transition — A Growth Opportunity

You are trying to get back on your feet after a painful divorce. You are planning to retire and are contemplating how to spend your time in retirement. You are grieving the loss of a spouse or a child. You want to quit an unfulfilling job to pursue work that is more in alignment with your values and passions. You are recovering from an illness and know that you need to make significant life changes in order to live a healthy life. But, how can you get through the challenges of these periods that seem so daunting?

Life transitions are times of change whether by choice or circumstance. Typically they are periods in your life when you feel uncertain, perhaps disconnected from yourself, and sometimes stuck because it’s scary to go from a familiar way of being into something new and unknown. However, transitions are also times of opportunity to create new awareness about what really matters to you, your choices for forward movement, and possible steps to take to get to a better place.

Times of transition are often accompanied by swings of emotion — fear, overwhelm, excitement, depression. It is not uncommon to get hung up in negative emotions, to complain about how long transitions last and how lost you are, to feel frustrated with a lack of mental clarity and, to be stuck.

Many people in transition will isolate themselves from others. They mistakenly believe they have to find their way on their or that getting help from others means they are weak. Going it alone only prolongs this uncomfortable state of being. Also, in isolation you are more likely to become wedded to inaccurate perceptions and limiting beliefs because there is no one to question them or offer alternative ways of thinking and doing.

One way to navigate through transitions more quickly with fewer stuck points is to hire a coach. A coach can help you reconnect with yourself, identify your options for forward movement, help you develop a plan of action, and provide emotional support as you find your way into a new segment of your life journey.

Are you in transition? If so, make this time of transition a productive period of growth and personal development by hiring a coach to walk with you as you find your way through uncertain and unsettled times to a better place. I offer a FREE 30-60 minute Back on Track phone coaching session so you can experience the benefits of being coached. Schedule your frees session now!

Your Personal Closet Is a Reflection of You!

Your personal closet is the most important closet in the house. Well, from a DSCN1100feng shui perspective it is! Your closet is an outward extension of you. Your clothes hold your energy. Take a look at your closet. How are you doing right now? Are you calm, spacious and organized? Or, are you a chaotic jumble of stuff?

How can I be so certain of the significance of your closet?

For thirteen years I’ve helped people clear and organize their closets. I have helped clients make decisions about what to keep and what to toss using the “Love It, Use It or Lose It Method” of clutter clearing. Clothing items that were loved or used have the best energy and were kept. Those that were not loved or used at least once a year were tossed. By going through that process over and over again with clients, it was very apparent that clothing held important associations with the different aspects of their lives, some of which were current and some that were outdated.

During the clearing process clients had the chance to “get current” about who they’d become by identifying those clothes they still loved, that still fit, that made them look attractive, that were comfortable, and that were useful given their current activities. In the process they let go of volumes of clothing that was too small, suited to a former occupation only, that felt uncomfortable, that fit poorly, that was of poor quality, that held  negative associations, and that was permanently stained.

When we finished our clearing sessions each client had more clarity about their current self, who they were the day of our clearing session–their current values, lifestyle, and preferences in terms of comfort, color and styles. Clients went from overwhelmed and scattered to clear and empowered within the space of two hours!

Go into your closet and set your intention to create a space that is an accurate reflection of who you are today. With each clothing item ask yourself, “Does this item accurately reflect who I am today? Does it reflect who I want to be today?” If the answer to either question is no, let it go! Get clear. Get current. And, get empowered!

A Happy Holiday Season — A Matter of Perspective

I get a kick out of counting down the months to the holidays. . . “11 months until Christmas, 6 Christmas decorationmonths until Christmas. . . ” Invariably when I do that women groan, particularly mothers. Clearly they dread the holidays. I LOVE the holiday season. When I pondered why my response to this end of year tradition is so much different than many women, and considered why I love it so much, I realized that my view of the holidays is very different than the “normal” view of many harried women.

“Too much to do. Too commercial! Not enough time!” The focus is on all that “has to” be done in create the perfect holiday for everyone and all the added tasks added to an already overflowing plate of responsibility. No wonder they feel overwhelmed! Too many obligations and expectations (many residing in their own heads). Where’s the pleasure in that! The holidays are seen as a time of high stress, too much to do, and not much fun. No wonder they groan when they think of the holidays!

I view the holidays as a season of caring, as an opportunity to demonstrate caring and connection with friends and loved ones. I enjoy having a reason to deliberately reach out and touch people I care about, with cards, small gifts, and special foods. I have fun doing that. The spirit of the season as I see it (not the commercial spirit, rather the caring and connection spirit) gives me  permission to indulge my natural inclination to connect and give and express caring.

It’s so easy not to connect, to put off letting people know they matter, to put off spending time with them. When I let the special people in my life know they matter and spend time with them during the holidays, I invest in maintaining and perhaps strengthening those relationships. The process takes time and energy, yes, but those bonds make my life richer and give my life meaning.  Add to that the added sensory pleasures of special music, lights, delicious foods, enticing smells. Plus, during December I also give myself permission to lighten up, lighten my load and step out of the daily grind so I can fully partake in the pleasures of the season. It’s my favorite time of year!

Above are two different perspectives of the holidays:

  •  a time of high stress, little real rest and the burden of extra responsibilities, and
  •  a time to demonstrate caring, enjoy special pleasures, enjoy time with loved ones, and lighten up.

What’s your perspective about the holiday season? Do you groan or smile? Do you focus on the  possible pleasures or only see an endless to do list? Your perspective is a choice. What will you choose this year?

Back on Track Workshop! Why Women Only?

I am writing this blog post two days after my very dear friend Shirley T. Burke and I held our first day long workshop, Back on Track: Get More Of What You Really Want From Life. It was for women only. Isn’t that wonderful! I thought so, but I’ve had several people ask me, “Why women only?”

Shirley T. and I chose to make our workshop for women only because women act very differently when in groups of women than they do in mixed company. I first noticed this difference when a good female friend and I agreed to get together for dinner and include our husbands. My friend and I had a history of taking walks together through our neighborhood. While we walked we talked. You may be thinking, “Of course! They’re women. That’s what women do. Talk, talk, talk!” Our conversations were always from the heart, and they really seemed to feed a part of us that needed deep interpersonal connection. We were both very open with each other about our life challenges and our feelings about those challenges. Because we felt so safe with each other, there was great depth to our sharing.

When we added husbands to the equation I noticed that my friend and I were more reserved, cautious about what we shared. The topics of discussion were more factual and superficial. There seemed to be an unspoken rule that we shouldn’t bring up any topic that might make the guys uncomfortable. Of course we were not conscious of the rule we were following or that we had shifted our behavior to accommodate the makeup of the group. It was interesting to observe that my friend and I seemed to be following the same rule without any prior conversation about it! My hunch is that we had been socially conditioned to act differently in the presence of men.

Observations of the behavior of women over time have proven to me that unless a woman has been wounded by a significant woman in their life, she is more likely to feel safe and open up in groups of women than in mixed groups. The intention of our seminar was to offer women an opportunity to reconnect with important parts of themselves, dreams and interests that they may have lost touch with in the busyness of having a career, a marriage or raising children. We believed that it was important that they be able to do that in an environment with others with whom they could identify and find support.

Women are more likely to understand and support the challenges and aspirations of other women. Women are more likely to “get” women. So, Back on Track was for women only. The result? It was an incredible experience of women enjoying the opportunity to be with other women who are committed to making positive changes in their lives. There was a level of openness in the group that was truly impressive. So, we made a good decision when we made our seminar a women only event!

Miracles Happen When Two or More Women Are Gathered!

This week I had the pleasure of working with Nancy (names changed to protect confidentiality), a very special, very motivated client who not only paid for me to help her at my out of town rate, but also brought in a friend, Betty, who does some organizing on the side. I was once again reminded of the power of women working together with a common goal.

In this case the organizer, Betty, and I were completely committed to helping Nancy clear her space of clutter and organize what remained. Nancy has been going through some very difficult life challenges in the past three years–a divorce and caregiving aging parents. I suspect our empathy for her current exhausting life circumstances as well as our desire to help set her up to be able to reclaim her own life once her parents have passed on, fueled our efforts. Betty and I had just met that day, but we worked together like partners united with a common cause. It was an incredible feeling to be in the middle of that tornado of positive energy.

By the end of the day we had covered a lot of ground very quickly. We reorganized her dining room/home office which included setting up a filing system, moving a shelf that was blocking a hallway, and reorganizing parts of the garage. I was astounded and impressed with what we accomplished and how well we worked together! And, best of all, during the five hours we labored Nancy transformed from being tense, anxious and uptight to being playful with a relaxed, relieved smile on her face. Women helping women! It is powerful and magical!

Busy Wives/Moms Need a Space of Their Own!

The roles of wife and mother are all-consuming, often leaving women with no idea about what really matters to them. In a sense they lose their identity when they have children. Many women I’ve worked with can tell you what they want for their children and their family much more easily than they can tell you what they want for themselves. It’s as if they don’t have the time or energy to figure it out because they are consumed with the responsibilities of being the CEO of the home. When their children grow up and leave home moms come face to face with themselves. And, they often don’t like the person staring back at them in the mirror. Years of self-neglect can leave women over-weight, exhausted, sick and sometimes depressed.

My solution–give a busy wife/mom a room of her own. If the house is so small that having a whole room is not possible, give her a section of a room that is off limits to the rest of the family.

Why give a woman a room of her own?

  • she needs a place where she has complete control, a place that no one else can mess up
  • she needs a place to pull together and organize the objects associated with her many projects and responsibilities
  • she needs a place where she can express her creativity
  • she needs a place to retreat to refuel that is calm, beautiful and organized
  • she needs a place to ground herself and get clear about what matters to her

I once had a client who had all her projects piled up on the floor next to her side of the bed. That was a real recipe for sleep problems! There was no way she could sleep peacefully with piles of work-related items in such close proximity .

When I suggested that we find another home for those things she informed me that there were no rooms available for her to claim as her own. Not to be deterred, I asked her to show me around the house to see if we could identify some space that would work as her personal cockpit. We finally settled on a corner of the family room. She claimed as her own the desk and filing cabinet that were already located there and informed family members that the area was off limits to them. Several weeks later she wrote me to thank me for giving her life back to her.

Are you a woman who is unable to get clear about what really matters to you? Are you distracted by a million and one things to do, places to be and people to care for? Do you want the opportunity to have more clarity, more peace, and be more organized? Find a part of your home that you can claim as your own. Make it your own. Make it lovely. Fill it with your projects, books and precious personal items. Then set boundaries by informing family members that the space is yours alone and guard it with your life!

Others that are accustomed to spreading out all over the house may need to be reminded to stay out of your space and keep their things out of it. Do it! It’s time for you to have your own peaceful place to get reacquainted with you. It may feel selfish, but do it anyway! You deserve it! Claiming a space for you is really an act of self-love and self-respect that will make you an even better wife and mother. Go for it!

Women Clearing Clothes for Empowerment

When I’ve helped women clients clear out their closets, I’ve had the impression that what we really were doing was helping them take a close look at who they really were at that moment in time. Tackling their closet ALWAYS seemed to empower them.

It was as if when a woman’s clothes closet was a mess, she was totally out of touch with herself, her gifts, her wants and needs and her value. Once the closet was done, the woman would stand taller and give a great sigh of relief. Of course! She just got herself back! What a wonderful feeling!

© 2012 Clutter Clearing Community | Debbie Bowie

“Author, Organizing Expert and Feng Shui Practitioner, Debbie Bowie, is a leading authority on clutter clearing to attract more of what you want in life. If you’re ready to clear clutter and move your life forward, get your FREE TIP SHEET, “Feng Shui Tips for Instant Success” at http://www.clutterclearingcommunity.com.